Christopher Uggen and Amy Blackstone. 2004. "Sexual Harassment as a Gendered Expression of Power." Forthcoming in American Sociological Review.




Drawing on recent insights from the study of legal consciousness and gender relations, the authors test the generality of Catharine MacKinnonís theory of the sexual harassment of adult women. Survey and interview data from the Youth Development Study and the General Social Survey are analyzed to identify a behavioral syndrome of sexual harassment for males and females at distinct life course stages, and to compare the syndrome against subjective reports of sexual harassment. A clear harassment syndrome is found for all age and sex groups and MacKinnonís predictions about the influence of workplace power and gender relations are generally supported. Financially vulnerable men as well as women are most likely to experience harassing behaviors, and men pursuing more egalitarian gender relationships are most likely to identify such behaviors as sexual harassment. Nevertheless, adult women remain the most frequent targets of classic sexual harassment markers such as unwanted touching and invasion of personal space.